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What About The Other Teachers?

The Hare Krishna movement is not exclusivist; we see that all the previous great teachers, like Lord Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) are all sent from Krsna with a purpose to bring back fallen souls to the spiritual world. The only differences we see are because of the different types of men each messenger or son of God was preaching to. Srila Prabhupada explains in detail in the following conversation.

Guest: Can a true devotee come face to face with God through the teachings of Buddha, the teachings of Christ?

Prabhupada: Yes. Teachings of Christ, teachings of Buddha, they were meant for a particular type of men. Generally it is meant for everyone, but especially for a particular type of men. Just like Lord Buddha, he preached ahimsa. They were a particular type of men. Lord Jesus Christ also preached a particular type of men. "Thou shall not kill," that means they were killing. Is it not? If I say: "Thou shall not steal," that means you are thief, you are stealing.

So a kind of preaching amongst the thieves and a kind of teaching among the philosophers must be different. That is the difference. Lord Buddha is Krsna, Lord Jesus Christ was Krsna incarnation, but they were preaching to a different type of people. Therefore you'll find difference of Lord Jesus Christ teaching, Buddha's teaching, Krsna's teaching. Krsna's teaching also there, which is already Buddha's teaching. But more than that, because the persons amongst whom He was teaching, they were far, far elevated than the thieves and the rogues. That is the difference.

Just like I am pushing on this Krsna consciousness movement, I am doing so many things which my . . . sometimes my Godbrothers, out of envious, criticize. But I know what is the circumstances how to do it. They do not know it. I know my business. So that is their fault. Their own buddhi business, they'll simply criticize, "How he is acting." Find out some fault. Just like Lord Buddha was criticized by the Vedic brahmins, "Oh, you are stopping animal sacrifice?" It is already in the Vedas. Because it is sacrifice, the animal is also sacrificed, so how you can stop animal sacrifice?" But Lord Buddha, nindasi yajna-vidher ahaha sruti-jatam (Dasavatara-stotra 9). Sruti-jatam. In the Vedas there is recommendation for animal sacrifice, but he began to deride. So his business was to deride the Vedic principles, that "I don't care for these Vedas." Therefore Buddha religion was not accepted in India.

He criticized. He criticized the Vedic principles. In the Vedic principles there is recommendation for animal sacrifice, and he criticized, "This is not good. Don't do this." Therefore it is criticism. Vedic injunction should be accepted as it is. You cannot criticize. Then there is no Vedic authority. So therefore he defied Vedic authorities. As such he was not accepted, strictly followers of the Vedas. But he has got a different purpose.

The ordinary man cannot understand. But one who is devotee, he knows that why he has done this. Therefore they offer their obeisances, kesava dhrta-buddha-sarira jaya jagadisa hare. A devotee does not accept the philosophy of Buddha but accepts him as incarnation of Lord Krsna and offers obeisances. This is our position. We offer obeisances to Lord Buddha as incarnation of Krsna, kesava dhrta-buddha-sarira jaya jagadisa hare. This is our study of knowledge.

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